Back to computing topic ... Re: OT: timing belts

From: Computer Collector Newsletter <>
Date: Sat Dec 25 04:44:18 2004

>>>>> And finally, no idea, but it sounds like a story worth the telling ;-)

Well I hope this brings back happy memories of the show itself, not bad
memories of the local police dispatcher:

Besides running this list, I believe JW deserves the "most dedication to
transporting a computer" award for 2004.

--- Gordon JC Pearce <> wrote:

> Computer Collector Newsletter wrote:
> > Ummm, I started the off-topicness here, so I'll try to end it by putting
> > forward these questions:
> > - What is the most odd computer you've encountered in a car's drivetrain?
> > - What is the largest computer you've fit into a car?
> > - What is the computer that gave Jay a flat tire en route to VCF East this
> > year?
> Most odd computer must be the little microprocessor controller thingy
> that lives under the seat in an old-shape Nissan Micra. All it does is
> detect if you've turned on the lights, heater fan, heated rear window,
> or if the engine cooling fan has turned on. If one of these things is
> on, it turns on a little solenoid valve on the side of the carb to
> increase the idle speed a little. For this they use (IIRC) an 8042
> microcontroller.
> The most microprocessor-y car I've ever had was probably the two Citroen
> XMs. An ECU for the fuel injection (although technically mine were both
> analogue - LE2-Jetronic, the turbo used Motronic which *does* have a
> microprocessor), an ECU for the suspension (as well as miles of
> plumbing), an ABS ECU, no less than *two* ECUs for the heater (one for
> the air con, one for the actual heater controls), a little diagnostics
> display (which tended to complain in French or Spanish if it had been
> raining heavily) and the trip computer. And I don't think I got them
> all, either - there seems to be some intelligence associated with the
> automatic gearbox.
> Largest computer I've ever fitted into a car? Well, I fitted a rack
> with a PDP11/34, a rack with two PDP11/84s, a couple of "washing
> machine" disk drives, and a chain printer the size of the packing crate
> a large motorcycle would come in, as well as cables, disk packs, dumb
> terminals and documentation, into the back of a short wheelbase Transit
> van. Does that count?
> And finally, no idea, but it sounds like a story worth the telling ;-)
> Gordon.

Tell your friends about the Computer Collector Newsletter!
-- It's free and we'll never send spam or share your email address
-- Publishing every Monday(-ish), ask about writing for us
-- Mainframes to videogames, hardware and software, we cover it all

Visit our web site for lots of extra content:

Contact us at

620 readers and counting!
Received on Sat Dec 25 2004 - 04:44:18 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:36:39 BST